I was 6 years old when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 16 years old when it relapsed, this time at stage four. In the past 11 years, my mom has endured several surgeries, multiple rounds of radiation, countless medications and severe pain. Cancer is heartbreaking—for the patient, their family and their friends. And the battle never ends. 

The tricky thing about cancer is that it’s not truly understood—at least, how to treat it. Many treatments are yet to be discovered. That is why cancer research is so vital. In fact, the medication my mother is currently on was just discovered by cancer researchers six years ago. 

The fundraising by organizations like Bearing Hope, founded by sophomore Alea Ramsey, and projects like fifth-grader Tess Short’s book “The Worry-Free Bear” help advance cancer research and bring hope to cancer patients and their loved ones. Further, it is through collective awareness and communal support, like what was demonstrated at the Oct. 8 football game, that help people detect the disease early and inspire them to donate their time and money to cancer-research.

We are over a quarter of the way through the school year. The leaves are turning, college applications are being turned in, Trader Joe’s has stocked pumpkin ice cream again and Thanksgiving will be here soon. I encourage you to make the most of your time off this month by spending time with your loved ones and giving back to your community. You can do this by baking a yorkshire pudding with your mom, volunteering at a local food pantry or by calling a truce with your siblings to watch a movie that makes you think of fall. (I’ll be watching “You’ve Got Mail.”) Or, in my biased opinion, the best thing you could do this month is snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate and read this issue of Arlingtonian. Read more about Bearing Hope on page six.